Native America Calling

Weekdays 11:00AM - 12:00PM
  • Hosted by Tara Gatewood

Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week. 

Obama’s Community College Plan

Feb 2, 2015
Dennis J. Neumann via

Mon. 02/02 11a: President Obama proposed a plan last month to provide two years of community college free to students who earn good grades and graduate on time. Tribal colleges would be included in this plan. What would two years of free college mean for Native American and Alaska Native students? How useful is community college in building a successful career? Is it the best way for young people to move in to the middle class?

Preventing Birth Defects

Jan 30, 2015
Photo Credit Danny Cain

Fri. 1/30 11a: January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, birth defects occur in about 1 in 33 babies born in the United States. Not all birth defects can be prevented, but there are some things mothers can do to reduce the risk of birth defects. On this show, we learn more about birth defects and the steps parents can take to reduce the chance their baby will be born with a birth defect.

Taking Native Cuisine Beyond Tribal Borders

Jan 26, 2015
Kristy Johnson via Flickr

Thur. 1/29 11a: Moving away from our tribal communities and living in urban areas can be a challenge when all that’s familiar turns into a memory and we begin to miss things from home. Food is a big one. In the vast food world, restaurants specialize in countless cuisines, including Native American fare. Native and non-Native chefs cook up frybread, stews and fried deliciousness that taste just like mom’s best. These places can turn into our favorite restaurants and an oasis of familiar flavors that bring back memories of home. Where is your favorite restaurant to get Native food?

Alcohol Poisoning

Jan 26, 2015
Douglas Muth via Flickr

Wed. 1/28 11a: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report on alcohol poisoning in communities across the United States. Higher rates of alcohol poisoning were found in Alaska, New Mexico and Arizona. Who do you think is at risk of getting alcohol poisoning? Your first thought may be teens, but the CDC found that the group most likely to die of alcohol poisoning is middle-aged men. Is alcohol poisoning a concern in your community? Is binge drinking creating challenges for your tribe?

Don...The UpNorth Memories Guy... Harrison via Flickr

Tues. 1/27 11a: Ojibwe historian Brenda J. Child shares part of her culture and family history in the new book, “My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks.” It’s part memoir and part history lesson of the Native peoples of the Great Lakes region from the early 20th century. What information have you found by looking back at your tribe’s history through your own family ties? Join us as we jump into this book with our January Book of the Month author.

State of Indian Nations

Jan 26, 2015

Mon. 1/26 11a: Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish), president of the National Congress of American Indians,  delivered the annual State of Indian Nations address last week. In his speech, Cladoosby called on the federal government to honor treaty obligations and change laws that make it difficult for tribes to improve local economic conditions. He also mentioned broadband access, education and public safety. Today on Native America Calling, we bring you the full speech and commentary on the priorities outlined by president Cladoosby.

Reaction To The 2015 State Of The Union Address

Jan 23, 2015

Fri. 1/23 11a: Tuesday, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address.  Is your tribe looking to the president to take action on an issue in the final years of his administration?  Join us for analysis and reactions to the 2015 State of the Union speech. We will look at how this speech is relevant to Native America.

Music Maker: R. Carlos Nakai

Jan 16, 2015
wplynn via Flickr

Fri. 01/16 11a: Native recording artist R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo/Ute) has shared his captivating sounds with the world for decades, including the beauty of the Native flute. His music has also connected listeners to Native American culture and tradition. This month we lend an ear to a special reissue of his number one #1 selling album, “Canyon Trilogy Deluxe Platinum Edition,” which includes never released tracks. We invite you to join us as we visit with R. Carlos Nakai – our January 2014 Music Maker on Native America Calling.

Addressing Anger

Jan 12, 2015
Deiby via Flickr

Thur. 01/15 11a: Anger is a common emotion. Daily irritations can boil over into full-blown temper tantrums. Anger can manifest in strong feelings or even actions against others. Join our conversation about anger. What makes you angry? How do you express your anger?  Were you raised to think of anger as a positive or negative emotion? When anger gets out of control, what do you do to bring yourself back down? Does your tribe have a traditional way to address anger? Guests include: Glenn Beaver (Kiowa) community liaison for the Kiowa Teen Suicide Prevention Program.

Native America Climbing The Professional Ladder

Jan 12, 2015
Flazingo Photos via Flickr

Wed. 01/14 11a: To move up in the workplace, some people dedicate years to education. Others spend years to gaining experience and learning all they can to do their best at work. The big day when you change the title on your business card can be very rewarding. On today’s show, we put the spotlight on Native professionals who have recently started new and exciting positions. Have you moved up the work ladder? Are you starting a new chapter in your professional career? Call in and tell us about your career path – or celebrate the professional accomplishments of a family member or colleague.

Winter Saftey In Native America

Jan 12, 2015
Sharon Sperry Bloom via Flickr

Tues. 01/13 11a: When big winter storms hit, there are many steps you can take to make sure your family is safe and comfortable. Did you know January is the peak time for carbon monoxide poisonings? The National Safety Council also reports that cooking is the leading cause of house fires in the winter. What steps do you take to make sure you and your loved ones are safe during the cold winter months?

Tribes Gaining Federal Recognition

Jan 12, 2015
Al_HikesAZ via Flickr

Mon. 01/12 11a: The process of acknowledgement for non-federally recognized tribes is long and complicated. Tribal groups seeking recognition spend many years in the process of seeking federal recognition. Seven criteria are required for recognition but a new proposed rule from the Bureau of Indian Affairs could mean big changes. How might these new regulations impact tribes seeking federal recognition? Could the proposed rules reduce the time it takes to gain recognition?

Starting Schools With Native American Values

Nov 10, 2014

Fri. 11/07 11a: Any parent who wishes their child was treated better in the classroom can relate to the dream of opening up your own school. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start a school in your community? It's not as easy as creating a mission statement and vision for students and teachers. Would you like to see more schools that start with Native values and the needs of Na­­tive students?

Changing Attitudes About Car Saftey In Native America

Nov 10, 2014

Thurs. 11/06 11a: Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries for Native Americans, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. Have you or a loved one ever been hurt in a car accident? The CDC recommends that tribes work to increase the use of seat belts and child safety seats in cars on reservations. Do you think encouraging these changes could help save lives in your Native community? What do you think it would take to change attitudes about car safety in your family or in your tribe?

The Impacts of Body Image on Health

Nov 10, 2014

Wed. 11/05 11a: The fat acceptance movement aims to end discrimination of overweight and obese people. Have you ever been criticized or judged because of your size? We've all heard about the health risks of being overweight, but can you be healthy and love your big body at the same time? In this hour, we will talk about how messages about weight can have an impact on our body image and maybe even our overall health. 

Honoring Nativie American Heritage Month

Nov 10, 2014

Tues. 11/04 11a: It's time for another round of current events on Native America Calling! Join us as we learn about events, gatherings and celebrations taking place this month around the country. November is Native American Heritage Month. Are you planning an event to honor Native history? What events are you getting ready for in November or later this winter? 

Qualifications For Leaders

Nov 10, 2014

Mon. 11/03 11a: The Navajo Nation has been in the news this fall as officials debated one qualification of presidential candidate Chris Deschene. The Navajo Nation requires that candidates for president are fluent in the Navajo language and a lawsuit was filed to challenge Deschene's language skills. Tribes have many qualifications for potential leaders, including age, education and residency. What qualifications are the most important to you? Do you want your leaders to have advanced degrees? Do we want them to know your tribe's language?

Tribal Elections

Sep 26, 2014
FutUndBeidl via Flickr

  Fri. 09/26 11a: The 2014 midterm elections in November are an opportunity for voters to make their voice heard by local, state and federal officials. In Native America, voters are also casting ballots in tribal elections this year. Did you cast a ballot in a tribal election in 2014? Are candidates still out talking to members of your community for an upcoming election? Do you vote only in your tribal elections? Or do you choose not to vote because you moved to the city and it's hard to follow what's going on back home?

Addressing Climate Change

Sep 25, 2014
andrea zeppilli via Flickr

Thu. 09/25 11a: World leaders meet this week in New York for the United Nation's Climate Summit 2014. They will discuss climate change agreements that include decreasing the number of trees cut down around the world and boosting the use of renewable energy. Leaders have until next year to make agreements that would be enforced in 2020. Is this global conversation including Indigenous communities, including our tribes in the United States? What would make a difference for our Native communities? Are your leaders taking action to address global climate change? 

Beyond Sobriety

Mar 4, 2014
User Keoni Cabral / Flickr

Fri. 3/7 11a: Getting sober is a complicated journey and there are many paths to sobriety. The White Bison group started the Wellbriety movement in the early 1990s.


Mar 4, 2014
User Chrissy Johnson1 / Flickr

Thu. 3/6 11a: A recent study of U.S. literacy rates shows that about two-thirds of Native American fourth graders are not proficient in reading.

Heroin in Native America

Mar 4, 2014
User Todd Hoffman / Flickr

Wed. 3/5 11a: Actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose last month at his apartment in New York City. Heroin overdoses are a rising concern in cities and towns across the United States.

Coffee Culture in Native America

Dec 11, 2013
User Teo / Flickr

Fri. 12/3 11a: Some of us can't successfully start our day without downing a cup of coffee. Others consider the beverage an occasional indulgence. Can drinking a great cup of coffee be more than just fun for your taste buds?

On today's show, we'll explore the history of coffee in Native America. We'll also talk with some entrepreneurs in the industry who are creating business models designed to benefit indigenous communities around the world.

Native Americas Best 40 under 40

Dec 11, 2013

Thu. 12/12 11a: In October, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development announced the prestigious “40 under 40” awards for Native leaders who have made significant contributions to their communities and causes. We invited some of the awardees to join us to talk about their work.

What do young leaders bring to efforts to change communities across Native America? Do young leaders offer unique perspectives because of their age? Is there someone under 40 in your community you would like to recognize?

Healthy Oceans

Dec 2, 2013
User milan.boers / Flickr

Thu. 12/5 11a: Many Native leaders are talking about how climate change is impacting their communities. Coastal tribes are facing unique challenges from rising sea levels and ocean acidification. These changes threaten to disrupt the traditional diets and life of the Native people who call coastal regions home.

How have changes in the ocean impacted your community? Is your tribe taking action to deal with changes in the ocean? What would you like to see local and federal leaders do to address the environmental damage in our oceans?

Native Magazines

Dec 2, 2013
Native Peoples

Wed. 12/4 11a: Magazines are a fun way to keep up to date on the latest news and entertainment. Publications like Native Peoples Magazine, SNAG and the First Alaskans Magazine are just a few that feature Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

What’s your favorite magazine for checking in on Indigenous issues? What magazines do you make sure to read every month? How can magazines provide a different perspective from other forms of media?

December Current Events

Dec 2, 2013

Tue. 12/3 11a: The Trickster art gallery in Illinois will open a Native Library and Research Center in a few weeks. The Native Learning Center is offering online trainings for homeowners and community leaders in December. What’s happening in your community this month? Are you planning an event or training that you’d like to highlight? Call in and share information about gatherings, trainings, and celebrations taking place around Native America.

Native Museum Directors

Oct 30, 2013
User fboudville / Flickr

Fri. 11/1 11a: Join us today for a discussion about Native museums. We will check in with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Heard Museum, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

Costumes for Education

Oct 28, 2013
User krossbow / Flickr

Thu. 10/31 11a: Every Halloween, pictures emerge of children and adults who dressed up like an “Indian” for the holiday. Halloween is not the only time when people dress up like Indians.

Art Therapy in Native America

Oct 28, 2013
User marknewell / Flickr

Wed. 10/30 11a: Native America is well known for its art and the talented artists who share their view of Native life. Today we will explore how Native art is being used to heal.